According to the Associated Press, a new federal report about the Oroville Dam warns of a very significant risk if the main spillway is not repaired by November. That looming deadline has those who live in the town worried the state won’t get it finished in time.
“I’ve seen them hauling in all the boulders and the gravel and stuff to repair it with,” said Dustin Romero, who is an Oroville resident.
Cal Edwards said he didn’t think they would get it done by November 1.
“The way that the thing was, just tore up so damn bad, it’ll take a long time to fix that right,” Edwards said.
FOX40 asked the California Department of Water Resources for that report, but an agency spokesperson claimed it didn’t know which report the AP was referring to. In a statement to FOX40, the DWR states:
From the outset of this incident, DWR’s primary concern has been the safety of the surrounding community and emergency response workers. DWR will continue to operate the flood control spillway, Hyatt Powerplant, and Thermalito facilities as needed to manage lake levels and ensure public safety. As we have stated from the beginning, DWR’s objective is to have a fully functional spillway before the start of the next storm season. With the support of the Governor’s Executive Order in February, we are expediting response and recovery efforts, and we’ll be working round-the-clock through spring, summer and fall to make that happen.
“The way government does things… Eh. Maybe they’ll make it, ought to be enough money around though. Brown ought to get enough, maybe get some from Washington,” said Author Karr, who lives in Oroville.
What the “significant risk” the report warns about is also unclear.
FOX40 reached out to several of the experts who worked on the project, all of whom referred questions to the DWR.
Most who live in Oroville that FOX40 spoke with hope if they have to evacuate again, it runs smoother.
“Last time they gave us about 25 minutes for evacuation,” Karr said.
The town’s confidence in the state’s abilities to fix the problem are mixed.
“I think [they’ll make the deadline], they’ve been working on it diligently,” said Cheryl Haley.
“I hope they don’t rush it and mess it up, but… Just as long as they get the job done,” said Danielle Comer, an Oroville resident.